Performance Materials Launches € 100,000 Community Involvement Initiative
Employees to engage in charitable projects in Asia, Africa and the United States A € 100,000 fund will support four social projects that help communities around the world
Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it is launching a € 100,000 Community Involvement Initiative. The company’s Performance Materials business sector will be supporting four charitable projects with € 25,000 each to enable disadvantaged people to participate in digital change. The initiative is part of the integration program following the acquisitions of Versum Materials and Intermolecular. The projects were directly proposed by employees.
“We care about people and the communities in which we operate. We take responsibility for our products, the environment and the people around us. As such, ethical and social aspects matter to us just as much as economic success,” says Kai Beckmann, member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Performance Materials.
Employees nominated 30 different projects from non-profit organizations around the world that could benefit from the fund. All submissions were reviewed and evaluated based on clear parameters such as their fit with company Corporate Responsibility activities already in place, their impact on society, their contributions to advancing digital living, as well as the degree to which employees have already been involved in various initiatives in the areas of global health, environmental sustainability and education.
The four selected winners will each receive € 25,000 to support their projects in Asia, Africa and the United States. The funds will be able to help thousands of individuals around the world. Selecting organizations that are already being supported by Performance Materials employees follows the long-term approach set out by the Community Involvement Initiative.
The projects will strengthen technology infrastructures, promote digital education and support communities in various ways. In addition to funding from the initiative, employees can apply for support from the Merck Family Foundation, a German charitable limited company funded exclusively by the Merck family to further civil society in sustainable ways by supporting the charitable engagement of that Merck employees.
The four winning projects
Loving Neighbors – Education in Korea
A multicultural childcare center in Ansan providing a stable environment for disadvantaged and multicultural students, helping them to enter a digital life through multimedia-based computer education. 26 Performance Materials employees already volunteer each quarter. The fund will be used, among other things, for a Korean language tutor, a computer room and a multimedia facility.
“We really appreciate Performance Materials’ kind interest toward Loving Neighbors. This donation from Merck employees will give our underprivileged and multi-cultural children in the region a new challenge and a great deal of courage. With this fund we are now able to continue providing Korean lessons to support a better integration into Korean society, set up a multimedia facility and provide a stable and healthy environment for them,” states Youngji Kim, director of Loving Neighbors.
Shanghai Jinqiao Biyun Charity Fund – Digital education in China
The organization is conducting a project with the goal to convey science and digital ideas to students living in poverty, which is expected to reach 400+ students. More than 40 Performance Materials employees have already been engaged in this. “With the financial support of the Merck program, we are now able to buy the technical devices we have urgently needed for a while.
Thank you – also on behalf of all our students who will benefit from it,” says Vivi Chen, Secretary general of Shanghai Jinqiao Biyun Charity Foundation. The Community Involvement Initiative will support many schools across China, for example with multimedia equipment such as tablets, projectors and lab equipment.
Social Innovation Academy (SINA) – Social solutions in Africa
This initiative enables young people from difficult social circumstances to start social enterprises with the prospect of creating jobs for the region. The fund will be used to improve the technological infrastructure for several refugee communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Approximately 250 scholars will be empowered through the program until 2023. Performance Materials employees already cooperated with SINA through the AMPION East Africa start-up bus innovation tour.
Etienne Salborn, founder of the Social Innovation Academy, highlights: “After working together with Merck employees already in the past, we are very grateful for the support granted during these times of crisis. It will unleash the potential of young people to create their own solutions in the form of social enterprises.”
A New Leaf – Supporting communities in the US
A New Leaf’s mission is to empower families and individuals living in poverty and in crisis situations. Financial wellness, housing stability, and good health are the core outcome goals for the 28,000 community members served annually in the Phoenix Metro area. Merck employees have become involved in this mission by dedicating over 200 hours of volunteer time to support A New Leaf.
In addition, employees lend their expertise to provide insight into connecting under-employed individuals with meaningful digital and technology industry career opportunities. “With the hands-on and financial support of Merck, we can make an important contribution to the health and well-being of the communities we serve, as well as establishing a model that can be replicated in other regions. We are very honored that our project was chosen and extremely motivated to put this contribution to work to achieve the best possible outcome,” summarizes A New Leaf’s CEO, Michael Hughes.
Background: Versum Materials and Intermolecular transactions
In 2018, Merck launched its Bright Future transformation program for its Performance Materials business sector aimed at further expanding its position as a leading supplier to the electronics industry. On October 7, 2019, Merck announced the completion of its € 5.8 billion acquisition of Versum Materials, Inc., an Arizona-based company and leading materials supplier to the semiconductor industry.
The company reported annual sales of approximately € 1.2 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) in fiscal 2018, had approximately 2,300 employees, and operated 15 manufacturing and seven research and development facilities throughout Asia and North America. The business combination aims to make Merck a leading electronic materials player focused on the semiconductor and display industries.
On September 20, 2019, Merck announced the completion of its acquisition of Intermolecular, Inc., a California-based company for advanced materials innovation. The US$ 62 million acquisition was made to drive and accelerate future innovations in the electronic materials industry.
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